Instructor: Christine Hassing
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Class Term: 03/20/2023 - 04/28/2023
SCN Member: $195
Class synopsisSounds of Spring. Rain as it gently falls, showering the tree buds’ eagerness to begin sprouting after months of hibernation. Or the sound of a pair of geese who have just landed on a lake to investigate a nesting location for their next generation of baby goslings. What about the sounds within? Such as the sound of your inspired heart as you watch Spring begin unfolding. The whispers new beginnings stirring an eagerness to “leaf out” like the buds on the trees. Or maybe it is an anxious heart as another new season begins entering. What are some of the sounds you hear?
This six-week course will offer opportunity to spend time immersed with nature, both physically and through other learning prompts inspired by symbolism of Spring. In this course, students will be able to to explore, reflect, and journey through the art of listening and listening again using journaling and writing to deepen their levels of hearing within and with-out (externally). Note: Physical time in nature is not mandatory; if there are physical and / or environmental limitations, utilizing the exploration of nature through other avenues (on-line, books, photographs, imagination) will still lend well to writing and reframing one’s stories.
To experience a safe, compassionate, joyful, and unconditionally accepting environment to reflect, explore, and share reflections and written stories., The experiences of enjoying Nature, self-reflection, journaling, and creative writing will offer students such things as curiosity, wisdom, joy, harmony, increased presence in the “now” amidst uncertainty, grace, self-compassion, gratitude, unconditional listening, and healing.
Class communication methodLearning prompts and a reflective assignment will be provided to attendees on the Mondays of each week via a collective group email. Attendees will be encouraged to journal on their own in response to their learning prompt(s) and reflective assignment. Over the course of the week, each attendee will utilize their reflective assignment(s), journaling, and time with Nature to write a story based on promptings from each given week. Attendees will be asked to share with the group at the end of each week (Saturday/Sunday/the start of Monday) their writings and any elements of their week’s experience with Nature and subsequent reflections they wish to share for supportive and celebratory feedback. In addition, if students are interested, weekly zoom meetings will be established for 1x1 or collective gatherings for any questions students have, or any sharing students would like to do “face to face”.
What is that I hear? Beginning with a solo exploration in Nature and journaling, along with additional learning prompts to further awaken the sense of hearing, students will begin a journey in the art of listening and listening again. The first duty of love is to listen. – Paul Tillich
Hark, who goes…here? Continued solo exploration in Nature and additional learning prompts will provide students the opportunity to utilize the sounds and symbolism of Spring to explore the sounds within (mind, heart). Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening. – Lisa M. Hayes
Do you hear what I hear? Continued solo exploration in Nature and learning prompts will provide students the opportunity to explore the sounds with-out (external). How do you listen? Do you listen with your projections, through your projection, through your ambitions, desires, fears, anxieties, through hearing only what you want to hear, only what will be satisfactory, what will gratify, what will give comfort, what will for the moment alleviate your suffering? Jiddu Krishnamurti
Did I just Hear by Legs Whisper Go? Continued solo exploration in Nature and learning prompts will offer students the opportunity to explore sounds the body may whisper in partnership with the mind and the heart as we listen within and with-out. Hearing is a form of touch. You feel it through your body, and sometimes it almost hits your face. – Evelyn Glennie
Hear Now, Here Now. Continued solo exploration in Nature and learning prompts will provide opportunity for students to further water the seeds they have already planted in being present to the now of each 86,400 moments of each day. The Sparrow by Paul Laurence Dunbar A little bird, with plumage brown, Beside my window flutters down, A moment chirps its little strain, Then taps upon my window-pane, And chirps again, and hops along, To call my notice to its song; But I work on, nor heed its lay, Till, in neglect, it flies away.
The Art of Hearing, a Lifelong Learning Journey. Continued solo exploration in Nature and learning prompts will offer students the opportunity to reflect on and set at least one intention for how they want to continue to water the growth of listening.
Class time commitmentAttendees will be encouraged to spend 15 – 30 minutes at least once per week in/ with Nature. In addition, students will be encouraged to allow for 10 – 20 minutes journaling after each immersion in Nature and additional time journaling as attendees feel prompted to do so. An additional 1.5 -2 hours may be planned throughout the week allocated for reflection, story writing, and classmate feedback.
Christine Hassing is a life story writer/teacher, author, coach, business owner, advocate of cold noses as healers and a champion of unconditional listening and hope. She has published two life-story books, one her personal memoir To the Moon and Back to Me: What I Learned from Four Running Feet. The second is Hope Has a Cold Nose, a collection of twenty-three military veteran life stories about the healing effects of service animals for veterans journeying with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military-sexual trauma (MST). Among the life story tellers Christine has had the privilege of interacting with include hospice end of life stories, early-stage Alzheimer’s, the aging population, domestic abuse survivors, elementary children, individuals once homeless, and to SCN members enrolled in Fall and Winter courses. Christine publishes monthly hope-full articles in Good News (a local paper reaching 20,000+ readers) and via her blog “Hope Is a Cold Nose and Other Inspiring Stories” (Christinehassing.com). Christine also had the recent honor of contributing to SCN’s Seeing Through Their Eyes 2022 Anthology and Kitchen Table Stories 2022. When Christine is not joyously listening to, teaching, coaching, inspiring, or reframing life stories, she immerses herself in Nature and time with friends and family, including two souls in fur with cold noses.